Royal Chrysanthemum and Big Snow Mountain Black Tea Dragon Ball

Tea type
Black Flowering Blend
Black Tea Leaves, Chrysanthemum
Black Pepper, Bread, Camphor, Caramel, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Earth, Eucalyptus, Floral, Ginger, Grapes, Green Beans, Malt, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange Zest, Plum, Red Apple, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Tobacco
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Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
8 g 5 oz / 160 ml

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From Yunnan Sourcing

What happens when you combine robust Yunnan Black Tea with Royal Yellow Chrysanthemums? You get a highly complex and enjoyable tea both wonderful to drink, and to behold!

Royal Yellow Chrysanthemum is the highest grade Chrysanthemum that is normally available. It is sweet, and vegetal and imparts a slippery and soothing feeling in the mouth and throat.

Big Snow Mountain Black Tea is from Mengku County in Lincang, which is a high altitude area that’s home to many tea gardens. This lovely black tea was processed with care from first flush of Spring 2017 assamica tea leaves picked from 30 to 40 year old plantation bushes growing naturally at an altitude of 1800 meters.

This black tea together with the chrysanthemum flowers makes a thick and viscous tea, complex and interesting, while lasting many infusions making it a worthwhile newcomer to our offering here at Yunnan Sourcing!

These Dragon Balls were made by my mother- in-law and father-in-law. They make them in their spare time. They use little pieces of cotton to compress them instead of saran wrap. Saran wrap compression is the most common method because it’s faster, but it causes off gassing into the tea since the tea must be steamed to soften and is very hot. We use cotton, which is safe.

Dragon balls are great because they are perfect single brewing servings, and because the leaves fare much better during transport and storage compared to loose leaf form, which tend to break apart causing the brewed tea to be overly astringent and/or bitter and detracts from overall look of the brewed leaves!

50% of the profits from the sales of these Dragon Balls will go directly to my father/mother-in-law. We will give them the money as a red packet during Chinese New Year, since they won’t accept money directly from my wife or I. Most likely they will put most of it in the bank for their retirement!

Each Dragon Ball is roughly 8 grams of tea (+/- 0.5 grams)

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1 Tasting Note

1048 tasting notes

If I recall correctly, this was my first sipdown from October. I also recall being very careful while brewing this tea because I only purchased one of these dragon balls and wanted to get as much as possible out of it so that I could eventually post a detailed and accurate review. Of the Yunnan Sourcing black tea and flower dragon balls, this one currently stands as the best of them, though I still have not tried the black tea and rose dragon ball. I found that the Royal Chrysanthemum flowers and Big Snow Mountain black tea complimented one another nicely.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped the entire tea and flower dragon ball (about 8 grams by my scale) in 160 ml of 194 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry dragon ball emitted aromas of chrysanthemum, cedar, malt, sweet potato, black pepper, and eucalyptus. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of sugarcane and ginger alongside an even more pronounced royal chrysanthemum scent. Subtle aromas of red grape and plum came out on the first infusion. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of royal chrysanthemum, malt, cream, sugarcane, and plum that were balanced by hints of red grape, cedar, ginger, black pepper, and eucalyptus. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of cinnamon, camphor, cocoa, nutmeg, and caramel as well as subtle baked bread scents. Impressions of sweet potato appeared in the mouth alongside stronger and more immediate red grape, ginger, black pepper, and eucalyptus notes. I also detected mineral, cinnamon, camphor, red apple, baked bread, nutmeg, earth, caramel, and orange zest notes and hints of cocoa, tobacco, banana, and cooked green beans. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized lingering mineral, chrysanthemum, caramel, black pepper, baked bread, malt, and red grape notes that were underscored by hints of plum, red apple, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa, ginger, sweet potato, sugarcane, tobacco, and camphor.

This was a great offering. What I most appreciated about it was its balance. The last two black tea and flower dragon balls I have tried have struck me as being very unbalanced. The most recent was a Snow Chrysanthemum and Big Snow Mountain black tea dragon ball, and the flowers often struck me as overwhelming the tea. That did not occur here. The Royal Chrysanthemum flowers and black tea worked near perfectly together.

Flavors: Black Pepper, Bread, Camphor, Caramel, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Earth, Eucalyptus, Floral, Ginger, Grapes, Green Beans, Malt, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange Zest, Plum, Red Apple, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Tobacco

8 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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